At baptism I tell parents that this is only the first day of their child’s baptism. It is the beginning of a relationship and a process and that they have only begun the journey. One of the milestones on the journey is the child’s First Eucharist. How a child reacts to the Blessed Sacrament is highly dependent upon the parents. Faith is not handed down in Church, CCD or PSR, in the day school or what have you. It happens in the domestic Church – in the home – one generation handing on the faith to the next. This translate to the reception of the sacraments. How seriously will the child take Jesus in His Eucharistic presence? How do his parents behave around the Blessed Sacrament? How seriously do they take receiving Communion? How well do they take what they do in Church home? How do they speak of it?
Quite typically there will be a social response to receiving First Communion. As Mrs. Fenner takes pains to express, “it is your opinions and your reactions that they value and imitate. It is you therefore that can bring home the wonder and joy of the great sacramental occasion. Do everything in your power to make the day of First Holy Communion meaningful. You do this by putting emphasis on the reception of the sacrament and its significance.”
As C. S. Lewis said, “When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased.” So when First Communion becomes about a party at which First Communion happens to be a part, the whole event suffers. The significance of the Blessed Sacrament is lost and so the reason for celebration is lessened. It becomes not much more than a fancy dress occasion and not a very exciting one at that. But, when First Communion is emphasized, not only is due reverence made to Christ and the child’s excitement increased, the festivities that accompany it are also raised up in significance.